We are changing our name from Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland to Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery of Great Britain and Ireland. This was agreed at the AGM in Liverpool. I hope you would all agree that this represents a real feeling of inclusivity within our society. I really want everyone to feel very welcome and involved. It is so important that we stick together and go about our business in packs supporting each other when needed.
The creation of a new Emergency Surgery Council member was agreed at AGM as well as a new Benign Upper GI Council member. After membership voting these two posts have been taken by Sarah Richards from Bath and Stuart Andrews from Torbay respectively. We look forward to engaging with them on Council so we can put both benign and emergency surgery and patients at the front of our agenda. It was also agreed that our Roux President and our AHP representative on Council will have a full vote highlighting the importance of trainees and AHPs to our organisation.
Liverpool was a tremendous success. We had a record number of delegates and specifically a record number of trainees. A record number of submitted abstracts and our Industry support and engagement was the best for years. The new programme format seemed to be thoroughly enjoyed by all particularly the arrangement of the middle day. The quality of the talks was excellent and I can honestly say that I can’t remember the last time the whole auditorium stood at the end of a Keynote talk as they did for David Sellu. The success was all due to an extraordinary team performance, including the preparation of a fantastic programme, high class administration and real engagement with industry both before and during the meeting. It was also particularly good to welcome Cynthia Adede to AUGIS as the latest member of the secretariat.
We now look forward to The UGI Congress 2020 in Belfast. We are close to completing the Scientific Programme thanks to Ian Beckingham and his team. Nick Maynard is also finalising the organisation of this multi society meeting and our local man Mark Taylor continues to open all the doors in Belfast. As with Liverpool we are making sure there is something for everyone at all times during the Congress.
There are other meetings to look forward to before October 2020. GBIHPBA has a Minimally Invasive Day in January at Kings College Hospital, BOMSS has its Annual meeting in Aberdeen and our Roux Group has its second training weekend along with a Bile Duct Course in March. So much to fit in!
Finally, we recently appointed our third Surgical Specialty Lead. This post has been fully sponsored by the Bowel Cancer UK. Rob Jones was appointed to the post and has already organised a workshop at the RCS to discuss research needs in liver surgery. The other two posts are Keith Roberts for Pancreas sponsored by Pancreatic Cancer UK and Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund and Tim Underwood for UGI sponsored by Heartburn Cancer UK. Tim, Keith and Rob are fully engaging with the trainees and all AUGIS members. Surgical research is becoming quite a trendy pass time and is going from strength to strength particularly within AUGIS.
AUGIS is in a good place, but we need to continue our engagement with all members of our clinical teams. At a time when the NHS finds itself under huge pressure we will find strength in numbers and by sticking together.
Professor Giles Toogood